Saturday, February 04, 2006

Papercuts and turtles

Had technical difficulties posting this last night.

I got a paper cut today, it was inevitable really considering how much of the stuff I pull out of my pigeon hole each day (Why is it called a pigeon hole? When will I get a pigeon?).

I was so tired yesterday evening but my head was going round in circles (not quite like in the exorcist though!) I even ended up dreaming about school, but as that was the first night it had happened, so I think I've been doing pretty well at stress management. Feel much better tonight, swimming in the morning seems to give me more energy at night – weird. As much as I am glad it is the weekend I kind of don't really want to stop the momentum...

Am trying to cover the important things that happened yesterday, but what seemed important yesterday isn't necessarily what seems important today...

I forgot the roll yesterday again and felt bad coz I got paid... and after a couple of years of part time work it felt like heaps... I'm sure once I feel more justified, I won't think it's enough! I forgot the roll 'til last thing today too and I actually had kids away. One at integration and one didn't arrive. So I had three, which you'd think would be easy..............

Oh, yeah, yesterday... my clingy mum actually left and her daughter was fine. She's a bit timid and close to tears sometimes but communicated a lot more with us both verbally and with signs. The other student who isn't very communicative has started using her voice. Yesterday it was just NO, but today she was saying other things, but not so we could quite make sense of it. It's a great start though and something that the speechies can work on. I was told that my two older students were just as quiet when they started and came out of their shells eventually. It gave me hope that as a team we can make a big difference to these new kids. Seeing the change in one week where we haven't even got programs running, seeing how their comfort in the new environment increases makes me think that their potential is huge. It makes me impatient to understand how the school works and get things running and formalised, but today I learnt that this school has it's own time zone, you just have to relax into it and it's better for the kids if you do (or so the physio running the PD arvo said). The specialists are pretty laid back about getting things running, emphasising getting to know the kids first... but I feel like I should be able to justify what I am doing in terms of teaching. I guess, I can, but it's not what I want to be doing, ad hoc, unstructured lessons but being able to run a session by making it up as I go along is better than time doing nothing. They will get something out of it even if I'm not really sure what I wanted it to be... Maybe at this point I am just learning about them so I can know them well enough to plan properly for their development. I certainly learnt a lot about them today!

I had a session that didn't go to plan and it ended up just me and 3 students, including 2 new preps. The preps haven't learnt how they need to behave at school yet, as it appears to be my job to teach them... it is harder than I had anticipated, but uses the same structures as with other people I guess. Set up expectations of certain behaviours and remind, and remind, and remind again and reinforce with positive feedback. You can't really punish 6 year olds like you do a teenager but at least one of them may be able to understand consequences of actions and learn from it i.e. You throw things you will not get them to hold... but then you have to keep giving them chances to practice or learn it... and so you have to keep picking things up from the floor... One of them has a great trick – asking for a drink then holding her drink bottle upside down and squeezing it all over the floor! I hope we can get her out of that idea of a game soon. I'm not sure I like having to manage discipline with small children. As I may have mentioned previously they need to learn how to sit on a chair and stay there... two of my students are strapped with seat belts into chairs when we are doing work. This made life very interesting for me when I was alone today... the two preps I had today were the grab and throw kind whilst attempting to stop one from tipping her chair whist reaching for something just out of her grasp I turned my back on the other... I turn back... she has upended her chair and is crawling to reach the ball she really wanted – with the chair still attached to her! She looked like a turtle or a little pesky snail! Gave me a bit of a fright!!

So week one has passed without major incident. The head of primary told me about her first day of teaching at school today, it involved a student with a fractured skull, an ambulance and her going home in tears thinking her career as a teacher was over before it had begun... Makes my week seem just peachy!

Had PD on meal assistance and lifting this afternoon, as usual, I was well looked after and my one remaining kid was already organised to go somewhere else for the afternoon. The meal assistance was great with practical exercises to experience swallowing whilst concentrating on it and then try it with some of the limited facial muscle movements that the kids have. Very good at getting the point across. It was hard to stay awake during the talking coz I was tired and starving. I wolfed down my lunch in the short break and it was a lot easier to stay awake in the lifting session. There are trainees in – not sure what, disability something – who were at the session and it was interesting to hear a couple of them... - I hope this finishes on time, we finish at 3.15 and the clock watching and commenting (not even quietly) as the time drew near. They are being paid and that is the level of commitment that they have? I guess it happens in every job, and I have done it in some, but I expected more, maybe because of the nature of the work, but that's not really fair... Dunno. People do things for all sorts of reasons and who am I to judge?

Am going to try not to do too much school stuff this weekend but will feel so much better if I do.

No comments: